National Immunization Awareness: Back to School!

Vaccinating according to the recommended immunization schedule provides your child with safe and effective protection against preventable diseases.

  • Between the time your child is born and when they go off to college, they’ll get vaccines to protect against a number of serious diseases.
  • Some children at your child care center may be too young to get certain vaccines, and are therefore vulnerable to diseases.
    • By vaccinating your child according to the recommended schedule, you’ll be protecting their classmates as well.
    • You will also be helping to protect people in your community who cannot receive vaccines for medical reasons (e.g., people with weakened immune systems, such as some people with cancer and people who have received transplants).Vaccines are recommended for children of all ages.
      • The need for vaccination does not end in childhood. Vaccines are recommended throughout our lives based on age, lifestyle, occupation, travel locations, medical conditions, and previous vaccination history.
      • The protection from some childhood vaccines wear off with time, and children are more likely to get certain diseases like meningococcal disease and cancer-causing HPV infections as they get older. Staying up to date on recommended vaccines keeps your child protected against serious diseases.
      • Teens and young adults should also make sure they are up to date on all the vaccines recommended during childhood and adolescence. Additionally, states may require children who are entering college to be vaccinated against certain diseases.
      • You can send your kids off to college protected from serious diseases by making sure they’ve received all the vaccines recommended for them.

      Infectious diseases tend to spread wherever large groups of people gather together. Outbreaks of serogroup B meningococcal disease have been reported from college campuses during the last several years.Many vaccine-preventable diseases can easily spread in child care and school settings. Protecting your children from preventable diseases will help keep them healthy and in school.

      • Schools are prone to outbreaks of infectious diseases, and school-age children can further spread disease to their families and others with whom they come in contact.
      • When a child comes down with an illness such as whooping cough, chickenpox or the flu, he or she may miss at least several days of school while recovering – and somebody will need to stay home to provide care and make trips to the doctor.
        • Children can spread diseases to newborns too young to have received all doses of recommended vaccines, or to people with weakened immune systems, such as some people with cancer and transplant recipients who are also at higher risk of disease.
      • Most people in the United States are protected against measles through vaccination, so measles cases in the U.S. are uncommon compared to the number of cases that occurred before a vaccine was available.
        • However, measles is brought into the United States every year by unvaccinated travelers who get measles while they are in other countries. Most measles cases imported into the U.S. come from U.S. residents. They can spread measles to other people who are not protected against measles, which sometimes leads to outbreaks. This can occur in communities with unvaccinated people.
        • Since measles was declared eliminated in the United States in 2000, the annual number of people reported to have measles ranged from a low of 37 people in 2004 to a high of 667 people in 2014. In 2016, there were 70 provisionally reported cases.

–All information taken from the CDC